MediaWiki™ is the software which runs all of the wiki components on Fandom communities. Originally created for Wikipedia, MediaWiki is an open-source PHP-based wiki engine now used to run thousands of sites.
In general, any site that uses MediaWiki as its core software engine is considered a wiki. While MediaWiki provides the core of our communities, Fandom's platform also has additional features, such as Discussions, Message Walls, and Comments, which are separate from the MediaWiki platform. Fandom also develops extensions that provide additional functionality to the MediaWiki software for our communities.
Fandom communities are currently running on MediaWiki version 1.33.3. More information is available at Special:Version.
Features of MediaWiki
MediaWiki is a highly-developed, multi-faceted software that has grown over time to encompass a number of needs for collaborative communities. As such, its features are numerous and usually in flux, but there are some key concepts and tools that MediaWiki is best known for:
- An interface that allows for editing of the wiki's content.
- Tools that allow for a structured and controlled system of user rights.
- Namespaces to help separate and prioritize content.
- Magic words to help construct information.
- A platform that allows for easy development of add-ons to the software, referred to as extensions.
- A job queue that performs background tasks at a rate that completes the tasks in a timely manner without adversely affecting the technical performance of the wiki.
Fandom and MediaWiki
While Fandom runs on the MediaWiki platform, Fandom is not responsible for the development of MediaWiki. Bugs can be reported to Special:Contact and Fandom will try to patch them. Some core MediaWiki bugs may require a fix to MediaWiki itself; these bugs are reported and handled through Phabricator.
Many of Fandom's custom features, such as Admin Dashboard, Theme Designer, and Portable Infoboxes, are developed as MediaWiki extensions. This allows the extensions to be updated without having to update the core MediaWiki platform every time; this also allows an easier upgrade path for future MediaWiki updates.
Fandom often optimizes how MediaWiki runs on our servers. This is due to our unique situation of hosting over 250,000 communities that cover a variety of topics and have different needs. While a MediaWiki installation can be configured to run a wiki family, it may prove to be difficult to replicate Fandom's code and optimization on another installation.
- MediaWiki namespaces
- Customizing MediaWiki messages
- Wikipedia's article on MediaWiki
- Extensions available on Fandom
- Unified Community Platform, our update to MediaWiki 1.33